May 26, 2011

132 DJ Zoomba

One of my favorite apps on my Android phone is SoundHound- the app listens to music and identifies it for you. Just press one button, hold the phone up to the speaker, and presto! This is super-handy for identifying songs from the radio, incidental music from TV and movies, and in public spaces. Once it IDs the song, I simply press "bookmark", then I can go back later and buy the songs wherever I want. Unlimited uses are free, so perhaps I overuse it, but the novelty has not worn off yet.
  1. "Breaking The Girl" Anna Nalick sings that song "Breathe (3AM)" which I included in my last mix. I found her cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song while buying the "Breathe" song on Amazon.
  2. "Tree By The River" Iron & Wine
  3. "Clocks" An amazing salsa-ification of the Coldplay recording by something called 'Rhythms Del Mundo'. It's not a cover- more like a remix.
  4. "Quattro (World Drifts In)" Calexico, from their album Feast Of Wire.
  5. "Untitled" [live] Shockra: One of the coolest experiences of my Emerson College experience was working at WERS. One of the cool experiences of that cool experience is my three-year association with the world-funk-jazz combo Shockra. I was a host and manager of the world music show Gyroscope, and Shockra became our favorite band. We played their music every day, mostly from promo cassettes, we saw them live a dozen times across town, and they came to the studio to perform live in the studio regularly. In 1993 we released a live CD, which included this epic 10 minute track, maybe Shockra's most ambitious song. I was thrilled to be sitting in the studio for the recording, as the host of that day's live music. After their encore, the crowd in the control room went apoplectic; at the end of the CD you can hear (21-year-old) me "out-troduce" the song, then open the control room door to let in the applause.
  6. "Let The Light In" I don't know anything about Bob Schneider, but I heard this song on the radio, and it has a nice thumb-piano part.
  7. "Sound And Vision" from David Bowie's Low (1977). Fun fact: David Bowie's lead vocal does not begin until exactly halfway through this three-minute song.
  8. "Burning Down The House" this live performance, from Stop Making Sense, is far superior to Talking Heads' studio recording.
  9. "One Thing Leads to Another" The Fixx
  10. "On Melancholy Hill" Gorillaz
  11. "Les Yeux De Ton Pere" Fun story here: I used to play this Franco-Clash song ("Eyes of Your Father") from Les Negresses Vertes, regularly on WERS Gyroscope in the early 1990s. Fast forward to the MP3 era, the LP is out of print and the song is not available for 99c download. The song was also included in the movie French Kiss, and its soundtrack CD. I wasn't about to pay $17 for one song, but so I have kept my eye out for it--- until May 2011, when I finally found the French Kiss CD at a church tag sale. Persistence pays off!
  12. "You, Now" I heard this Greg Laswell song on the "Adult Alternative" channel on my cable TV.
  13. "Mandolin Rain" This recent live performance from Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers is a little too "jazzy" for me. I don't know if he has discarded most of the melodic hooks for artistic reasons, or because he's too old to hit the notes anymore, but it's not the same melody anymore.
  14. "Sweet Love" Anita Baker
  15. "Come and Find Me" Josh Ritter: As heard on the ABC-TV show Castle!
  16. "To Kingdom Come" Passion Pit
  17. "Jane Says" Jane's Addiction
  18. "Time To Pretend" MGMT

May 23, 2011

Let There Be Light

Ty Burr sheds light on too-dark digital movie screenings

“I walked into the room and I could barely see, and my stomach dropped...The first screening looked spectacular and the second was so dark, it was daytime versus nighttime. If they’re doing this for a big screening, I can’t imagine what they do for regular customers. That’s no way to see a movie." --Bobby Farrelly
If you haven't read Ty Burr's exposé from Page 1 of the Sunday Globe, read that first and prepared to be appalled.

I am appalled, but not surprised. As my wife says, its like escaped monkeys are running the theaters. It takes a lot of guts to fleece customers for $10 (or more) for 2D, and $15 for 3D, and then screw them again with a subpar exhibition. Digital projection is supposed to be the golden age of moviegoing- no more scratchy or blurry prints, perfect digital sound! A few years ago the exhibitors were squawking about how expensive it would be to refit all their screens to digital. Well, they fixed that problem! Sign a contract and accept free projectors from Sony! But wait, the Sony projectors can't easily be switched from 3D to 2D. Ty Burr's Page 1 article might exert some pressure on the theaters, but I am also not surprised that paying customers aren't noticing. And even if they notice, no one wants to ruin a night out by complaining to a powerless drone at the customer service desk who won't pass your complaint along anyway.

I can't say for sure that I have witnessed this witlessness firsthand, and that's ironically due to the price of 3D movies. I prefer to see the 2D version of a movie, and since AMC and Regal don't offer that option anymore, I end up at The Somerville Theater, where the 2D is only $8, and you can drink beer. No contest! Over the last 18 months, I have only been to Showcase, AMC, and Regal Cinemas for 2D screenings eight times. One of those was Harry Potter 7.1, but that was in the Showcase Cinema Du Lux Level, where they leave the lights on at 20% so people can see their food, so the screening was ruined anyway. Another was The Book of Eli, at Regal Fenway's Screen 2, which was not likely a 3D projector in January 2010.

What's my takeaway? Steer clear of AMC and Regal, and hope this 3D fad blows over.

SIDE NOTE: the Boston.com website is so badly organized. The article, which was featured on Page 1 of the Sunday Globe, is not featured on the Boston.com movies page: there IS a link to it in the bottommost secion of the page, in a list of links "More from the Globe". Wouldn't a Page 1 story about moviegoing merit top billing on the Movies home page? The article is not included in the Boston.com Movie Nation blog where all of Ty Burr and Wesley Morris' other posts go, and it's not in the Culture Desk blog either. Is there any human being involved with this website?

At first I thought they had deleted the helpful infographic which accompanied the article in the paper. When my Dad emailed a link to the article online, the graphic is missing. It turns out the article is presented on Boston.com in two different places: the link my Dad sent me is from articles.boston.com; the link at the bottom of the Boston.com Movies page is from www.boston.com, and it includes the infographic.

I know that the Globe is transforming their entire web site to a half-paywall model like their parent New York Times. Perhaps they're not spending any time on the current site because it's getting torn down anyway? Why paint the walls on a building if it's being demolished in 6 months, right? Well, who's going to want to pay for a new Boston.com if the free Boston.com was so disappointing?

(Some Titles Are) Parenthetical

The parenthetical song title is a unique phenomenon to music. Why do song titles have parens? This morning, I read a post on theawl.com with a list of 169 parenthetical song titles. Each title fits into a type:
  • The title is too short/not descriptive, so they add more words "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
  • The title is too long, so they chop it off "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"
  • The record label worries that people won't recognize the song they heard on the radio because the title is not the chorus. Sometimes these parens only appear on the 45, not the LP:
    •  "Pride (In The Name of Love)"
    • "Brass In Pocket (I'm Special)"
    • "Train In Vain (Stand By Me)"
  • Beck just being weird "Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)" 
  • REM just being weird "Auctioneer (Another Engine)"
  • Movie Theme Songs (Theme From "This Blog")
  • Silly jokes "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)"
  • Completely arbitrary "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)"
I have selected 75 parenthetical song titles, and severed the main title from the paren part. Print out this page, and try and match them back up again. Remember, some parens go in front, some at the end. Good luck! (Answers here).
December 1963(500 Miles)
4th of July, Asbury Park(All Night)
A Natural Woman(And I Feel Fine)
Against All Odds(And That's the Truth)
All Night Long(Anthony's Song)
Bang A Gong(Are Made of This)
Chelsea(But I Like It)
Da Doo Ron Ron (But I Won't Do That)
Died In Your Arms(Come Out Tonight)
Don’t Forget Me (Coming Home)
Don't Go Away Mad (Don’t Go Back To)
Don't Know What You Got (Don't Fear)
Don't You (Enjoy What You Do)
Dude (Everything I Do)
Earth Angel (For Me)
Escape (For My Love)
Exhale (Forget About Me)
Falling in Love (Get It On)
Fascination(Gonna Be Alright)
Fight For Your Right(I Can’t Get No)
Good Riddance (I Don’t Want to Go to)
Happy Xmas (I Feel Good)
He Hit Me (I Just)
Higher and Higher(I Like It)
I Believe (I Think It's Going To Be A Long Long Time)
I Can't Go for That (I'm Only Bleeding)
I Do It For You(I'm Sorry)
I Got You (Is Hard on the Knees)
I Knew You Were Waiting (It Felt Like A Kiss)
I Never Loved a Man (It's in His Kiss)
I Ran (I've Been)
I Wanna Dance with Somebody (I've Had)
I’m Gonna Be (Just Go Away)
I'd Do Anything for Love (Just Like)
I'd Lie for You (Keep Feeling)
In Hammersmith Palais(Let Me Be Your)
Instant Karma (Looks Like a Lady)
Istanbul (Man in Motion)
It’s The End of the World As We Know It (Naive Melody)
It's Alright, Ma (Nine to Five)
It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (No Can Do)
Jump (Not Constantinople)
Major Tom (Not to Come)
Mama Told Me (Oh, What A Night)
Money (Pretty Young Thing)
Morning Train (Put a Ring On It)
Movin' Out (Sandy)
Norwegian Wood (Say So Much)
P.Y.T .(Shoop Shoop)
Peace, Love and Understanding(Sittin' On)
Red Shoes(So Far Away)
Rocket Man (Take a Look at Me Now)
Rockville(That's What I Want)
Rosalita (The Angels Wanna Wear My)
Sad Songs (The Final Acclaim)
Satisfaction(The Piña Colada Song)
Searchin' So Long(The Right Stuff)
Separate Ways (The Way I Love You)
Single Ladies (This Bird Has Flown)
So. Central Rain (Till It's Gone)
St. Elmo’s Fire (Time of Your Life)
Starting Over(to Everything There Is a Season)
Sweet Dreams (War Is Over)
Teddy Bear(We All Shine On)
That's the Way (What’s So Funny ‘Bout)
The Dock Of The Bay(When He Walked Me Home)
The Reaper(When I Fall in Love it Will Be Forever)
The Shoop Shoop Song (When I’m Gone)
The Time of My LIfe(White Man)
This Must Be the Place (Who Loves Me)
Tonight's the Night (Will You Be Mine)
Turn! Turn! Turn! (Worlds Apart)
Wham Rap! (You Gotta)...(To Party!)
You Got It (You Make Me Feel Like)
You're in My Heart (Your Love Has Lifted Me)

May 11, 2011

Andy Warhol

What do Hank Azaria, David Bowie, Crispin Glover,and Guy Pearce have in common? They all have played Andy Warhol in the movies or on TV. Let's add Bill Hader to the list: click here to see him in full costume and makeup as Warhol for the new Men In Black III. Perhaps Warhol is such an abstract icon of popular culture, that anyone can play him, to suit the needs of the director? I bet Warhol would appreciate that. This is a guy who appeared as himself on The Love Boat in 1985!