kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-22 01:34 pm
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30 day music meme, day 16

It has been hot here. Yesterday it hit 100F/37.7C; right now it's 96F/36C, although because it's cloudy it doesn't feel too awful.

I know it's even hotter in places like Arizona, and it's been nearly as hot in places that are much less prepared for heat (e.g. much of southern Britain), but I wanted to complain anyway, if only because the heat half-melted my brain and I forgot about this meme for a couple of days.

16. One of your favorite classical songs

I'm pretty ignorant of classical music, and to the extent that I have opinions they are odd ones: if it's much more recent than Bach, I probably don't like it. Plus, the question got me into a mental twist about what counts as a song. So I picked something that is definitely a song, if not technically classical since it dates from the 13th century. It's one of the most famous pieces of medieval music, quite catchy, and the first documented English use of the verb "to fart." There's more info here (including a transcription and modern English translation) and here (primarily about the manuscript).

The Hilliard Ensemble, "Sumer Is Icumen In"

Heh. I do like this song, but it feels odd to post it given how little joy I feel about summer right now, and how much I wish it was igonne away.

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-19 09:15 pm
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30 day music meme, day 15

15. A song that is a cover by another artist

This is another one where I have to link two songs.

First, and predictably if you know my taste, is the Doug Anthony All Stars' cover of "Throw Your Arms Around Me," originally by Hunters and Collectors. I've listened to a lot of versions of this song (OMG stop judging me!) and this really is the best I've heard.

Second, here's Jonathan Coulton's cover of Alanis Morrissette's "You Oughta Know." I've picked this not so much for the musicianship or the singing (it's just a little whim that Coulton released online, and he's audibly embarrassed by some of the more explicit lines) as for the way it totally changes the meaning of the song--making it more interesting, in my view--without changing a word.

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2017-06-18 10:00 am
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30 day music meme, day 14

14. A song that you would love played at your wedding

Love songs aren't usually my thing. This is an exception--spare, slightly wry, and yet achingly emotional.

The Magnetic Fields, "The Book of Love"

All the prompts )
kindkit: Haddock and Tintin kissing; Haddock is in leather gear (Tintin: gay icon)
2017-06-17 12:35 pm
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30 day music meme, day 13

13. One of your favourite 70s songs

This song was released in 1973, and surprisingly became a hit. You probably are familiar with the fandom phrase "no heterosexual explanation": well, there's no heterosexual explanation for this song.

If I knew how to vid, I would make a Professionals vid to it.

Starbuck, "Do You Like Boys?"

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-15 06:43 pm
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30 day music meme, day 12

12. A song from your pre-teen years

I'm taking this to mean a song I heard during my pre-teen years, rather than a song that was released then. This one was released when my mom was five years old. I probably first heard it at about the same age--I associate it with a period when my grandmother was running a fishing resort and my mom and stepfather and I lived there. I was intrigued by all the unfamiliar words, and I think I may have been an adult before I learned that jambalaya is a food and not a kind of party.

Hank Williams, "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)"

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-14 10:14 pm
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30 day music meme, day 11

11. A song you never get tired of

The Jam, "Town Called Malice." This video has adorable baby!Paul Weller. If you can't understand all the words (and the words are really good), there's a lyrics vid here.

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-12 07:02 pm
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30 day music meme, day 10

10. A song that makes you sad

There are songs that make me sad for random personal reasons, and there's a song that makes me so very sad that I don't want to even post it here (it's the Neko Case song about the tiger, and you listen to it at your own risk). I've picked something that is manageably sad. It's essentially a John Le Carré novel in song form.

The Decemberists, "The Bagman's Gambit"

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2017-06-11 10:51 am
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30 day music meme, day 9

9. A song that makes you happy

This is a live version, because I can't find the album version on YouTube.

(A further source of happiness, or at least amusement, may come from the way the singer's accent changes from American when he's speaking to sort-of-English when he sings. I say this with great love for Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, and with the ruefulness of one Anglophile recognizing another.)

Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, "I Never Thought I Could Feel This Way For a Boy"

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-09 05:48 pm
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30 day music meme, day 8

8. A song about drugs or alcohol

Today you get two, because the first song I thought of presents alcohol in a negative (though funny) light, and I wanted a happier one as well. The fact that these are both Irish songs is, well, insert your own joke here, but it's also because for several years of my life I listened almost exclusively to Irish folk and traditional music.

Altan, "Donal Agus Morag"

This song is the happy one. It's about the wedding of Donal and Morag; the first verse is about all the people who were there, the next two detail the food, and the last verse mentions all the alcohol. There's an Irish transcription and English translation here.

Christy Moore, "Delirium Tremens"

This one's about alcohol's potential bad effects. It's also hilarious, though much of the humor comes from highly specific references to Irish politics and history. Wikipedia may be your friend here. I can tell you that Harpic is not an alcohol, but a brand of toilet bowl cleaner.

ETA: The Guinness ad Moore refers to may be this one here. It is magnificently awful.

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2017-06-08 05:53 pm
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30 day music meme, day 7

7. A song to drive to

What better than a song about a journey? Or about several journeys, I think, only one of them physical.

This is a live version, because, annoyingly, the album version is blocked on YouTube for copyright reasons.

Paul Simon with Vincent Guinea* and John Selowawane*, "Graceland"

(*Name spellings are my best guess based on how Simon pronounced them)

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2017-06-07 08:36 pm
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30 day music meme, day 6

6. A song that makes you want to dance

I am not, on the whole, a dancing person. "But it's just moving to the music," people say, but that's the problem. What if the way I move to the music looks stupid? I do not want to have to show spontaneous grace and creativity when other people might be watching me. (Plus, on my very few visits to clubs where people dance, the music was always too loud, the lights too weird, the crowd too crowded.)

However, back when my knees were younger, I did enjoy ceili dancing. The great thing about ceili dancing is that it's not spontaneous. There are steps! You don't have to be creative. You don't, at least at the ceilis I went to, have to be particularly graceful, either.

So here's some Irish traditional music, the sort of thing you might hear at a ceili. And if Martin Hayes, one of the finest fiddlers of his generation, plays at your ceili, you're privileged indeed.

Martin Hayes, "The Morning Star/The Caoilte Mountains"

Your toes were tapping, weren't they?

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-06 05:13 pm
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30 day music meme, day 5

5. A song that needs to be played LOUD.

Apparently this song was a huge hit in 2006, but I managed not to encounter it until I watched Klia's amazing Life on Mars fanvid. (I'd love to link to the vid, but there doesn't seem to be a streaming version up anymore. You can go to her LJ, which will direct you to her website, and there you can request a password to a downloadable version.)

Gnarls Barkley, "Crazy"

All the prompts )
kindkit: The Fifth Doctor looks at Turlough from a distance. (Doctor Who: Five and Turlough distant)
2017-06-05 04:57 pm
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30 days music meme, day 4

4. A song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget about

Well, this song reminds me of a moment I'd rather forget about and a person I remember with a good deal of regret.

REM, "Country Feedback"

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-04 11:37 am
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30 day music meme, day 3

3. A song that reminds you of summer

This is cheating a little, since it has the word "Summer" in the title, but it's one of the few songs I really do viscerally associate with that season (even though it's about the end of summer).

I wanted to post the Don Henley version,* since it has a stronger summery feeling for me, but I couldn't find anything but a live version on YouTube. Anyway, I do very much like this punk-pop cover.

The Ataris, "The Boys of Summer"

*Shut up, everybody is allowed to like one song by the Eagles or Don Henley, and this is mine.

List of prompts under the cut )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2017-06-03 11:03 am
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30 day music meme, day 2

2. A song you like with a number in the title.

"Plus Ones," by Okkervil River. I picked this one because it's not only a cool song, it's a sort of meta-answer, referencing as it does a whole lot of other songs with numbers in their titles.

List of prompts under the cut )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-01 05:09 pm
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30 day music meme

For lack of anything very thoughtful that I want to post about, here's my first contribution to that music meme that's been going around.

1.A song you like with a colour in the title

The Clash, "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais"

All the prompts under the cut )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2017-05-25 08:00 pm
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i'm down with the new music

It's a little embarrassing when you hear a great song on the radio, and you google the lyrics as soon as you get home so you can find out what it was, and it turns out to have been released thirty years ago. And apparently was a big hit at the time.

Ah, well, it's new to me?

kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2014-08-20 10:48 am


1) I haven't had connectivity from home for ages, nor the energy to get myself and my computer to the library, which is why I haven't been around. Currently I'm in a damned uncomfortable chair in a coffee shop. (Are coffee shops furnished with uncomfortable chairs on purpose to keep people from lingering?) I miss talking to you all more regularly. Lack of connectivity has also made it impossible for me to do my German lessons on Duolingo, so today or tomorrow I'm going to the library to acquire a book and hopefully a CD.

2) Reading: I'm working my way sloooooooowly through Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which is very accommodating of the economically ignorant and written in a style that's clear and direct even in translation, but still makes my eyes glaze over if I try to read more than twenty pages at a time.

I recently re-read Bram Stoker's Dracula; my previous reading was twenty years ago for a grad school class (how is it even possible that I was in graduate school twenty years ago??? where does time go?????). It was my first year in grad school, before I'd switched fields to Renaissance lit, and I was historically challenged to put it mildly, so my impression of the novel was that it was written Very Long Ago and was Old. Re-reading it I was struck by how deeply interested Stoker is in the modernity of the very late nineteenth century--it's all typewriters and shorthand and gramophone recordings on wax and, startlingly, Jonathan Harker taking photographs of the Transylvanian landscape with his "kodak." Of course all that modernity is challenged by ancient evil, but ultimately defeats it (most strikingly when Dracula burns all of Team Van Helsing's documents, but it's okay because they have typescript copies). Something else I didn't notice on first reading was how stuffed the book is with religiosity, in a way that feels forced and in sharp contrast to the modernity. In particular, Stoker can't decide whether Mina Harker is a modern woman with a "brain like a man" or an angel in the house who prays and talks endlessly about God and whose most important characteristic is her purity. (I don't think I'm creating a false dichotomy--Stoker doesn't seem able to have Mina be both at the same time.) I often get the sense that part of Stoker, at least, wanted to write a much stranger and more subversive novel. It's not just the erotic undercurrents he gives to vampirism, but the recurring (it happens twice) homosocial-triangulated structure of a group of men bound by their devotion to a single woman as well as by their friendships among themselves (including the symbolic polyandrous marriage of Lucy Westenra via blood transfusion and the symbolic multiple paternity of Mina's son); the story's omissions (notably Jonathan Harker's unlikely escape from Dracula's castle); the peculiarities of Van Helsing's affect; and everything about Renfield. Also this passage from chapter 15, when Van Helsing takes Seward into Lucy's tomb for the first time: "Holding his candle so that he could read the coffin plates, and so holding it that the sperm dropped in white patches which congealed as they touched the metal, he made assurance of Lucy's coffin." I actually double-checked that against a different edition to make sure it wasn't some transcriber's idea of a joke that had slipped past the Project Gutenberg editors. Stoker is referring to a spermaceti candle, but he can't have been ignorant of the other possibilities inherent in the image of white sperm congealing on a coffin lid. With all this oddness, the insistent religious-ness of other moments feels to me like Stoker trying to hold the story's subversiveness in check.

3) I've been listening to a lot of podcasts, because my job at the moment involves hours of shelf-stocking, which is utterly mindless but which mostly happens before the store is open, so I can listen to music, podcasts, etc. Does anyone have recs for good (free) podcasts? I'm already listening to Welcome to Night Vale and some public radio podcasts (Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, Ask Me Another, and The Splendid Table--I'm finding the last strangely unsatisfying despite fond memories of it from years ago; either I'm a more advanced cook now or the show has been dumbed down, also there are too-frequent segments about dubious "nutrition" and "anti-obesity" fads). I'm especially interested in science, pop culture stuff, cooking, and quizzes/games/panel shows; I'd prefer to avoid anything political or current-events focused because I get too upset.

4) Speaking of music, I keep meaning to post about an old album that I love and that I think is underrated: Thomas Dolby's The Golden Age of Wireless. It is, alas, best known for the single "She Blinded Me With Science," a silly novelty song that's unlike everything else on the album, which is a meditation on . . . oh, radio and technology and loneliness and eras ending, and to a surprising extent on the Second World War and its legacy. I've been fond of the album since I was a teenager, but I only made the WWII connection in the last couple of years. One of Our Submarines was inspired by the death of Dolby's uncle during the war. And I didn't realize how creepy the lyrics to the beautiful Cloudburst at Shingle Street were until very recently (I was listening to it one night in bed and suddenly thought "Wait, is the narrator dead?"), and then I did some googling and discovered that the song is about the persistent myth that an attempted German invasion at Shingle Street (which is a coastal town where some secret weapons research happened during the war) was stopped by the use of gas/petrol pipes buried under the beaches that burst into great clouds of fire at the flick of a switch.

I'll admit that some of the music does sound dated now in its early-80s synthesized way, but I also think that early 80s music is unfairly stigmatized even now that every other era has had its revival.

Unrelatedly, but I have to complain about this somewhere, at work the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack has been on heavy rotation, and I am more sick of 1970s soft rock than I can possibly tell you.

5) And now I'm off to see if there's any good Dracula fic on AO3.
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2013-10-30 09:19 pm
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"I'm a boy" covers?

Does anyone know of a cover version of The Who's I'm a Boy by either a woman singer or a trans* man singer whose vocal range still sounds "female"? YouTube has been no help.
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2013-06-04 06:55 pm
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pleasant things

At long last, a post from me that is not about moving or computer problems. Instead, it's full of nice things!

Let's start with nice things to eat and drink. It's summer in my neck of the woods, and since the new apartment gets a lot warmer than the old one, I've been disinclined to cook elaborate foods. For me this lets out a lot of Indian cookery (although I know that most Indian food is cooked and eaten in India, where I hear it often gets warmish) and I find my cooking is sort of wandering across Asia depending on my mood, the temperature, the amount of time I have, etc.

Let's start with two cucumber salads, one south Indian and one Vietnamese-ish.

cucumber salads )

Now, how about a nice, easy dinner?

Stir-fried noodles with beef, ginger, and scallions )

And now, let's have a drink!

World's best limeade, vodka optional )

And finally, a musical dessert: Kay, Why?, by the Brothers Butch. Recorded in 1967 by a duo reminiscent of Julian and Sandy, this is a glorious string of double-entendres. Ignore the irrelevant (Laurel and Hardy?) video. A little more information, including the must-see sleeve of the single, can be found here. The Queer Noises album, which I was fortunate enough to find a secondhand copy of, has lots of awesome music on it, not least "Florence of Arabia," which is politically sketchy in about eight ways but also delightful. Alas, I can't find the right version on YT, just different songs with the same title.