athelind: (WARNING: TV Tropes)

The "World of Cardboard" Speech:


"That man won't quit as long as he can still draw a breath. None of my teammates will. Me? I've got a different problem. I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard, always taking constant care not to break something, to break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control, even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't you, big man? What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose and show you just how powerful I really am."



For those interested, I've expanded and annotated The Top Five Superman Stories list.


athelind: (Eye of Agammotto)
One of my co-workers brought in a CD of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's A Very Scary Solstice.

I found that it works best if you play it just low enough that listeners can identify the jolly holiday tunes, but can't quite hear the lyrics.

Of course, since I mentioned these songs, I have to link to the music videos for two of them:







athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
There are a few days in both Spring and Autumn, almost exactly at the midpoint between Equinox and Solstice, where the sun is at such an angle that, if the day is clear, there's a strange quality to the light that makes the world seem ... not so much unreal as hyper-real.

Today is one of those days, one of those high-definition days, and the oddness of the weather makes it moreso. Last night, around sunset, the winds came in off the desert, south-east of us, and brought a wave of warmth; it was actually warmer an hour or two after nightfall than it had been in the late afternoon. Since then, the wind has shifted again, coming from the Northwest, and, while it's still warm today (around 80), the forecast tells us that these winds will soon bring us a front from Alaska.

And you can tell. When you step outside, there's a strangeness in the air, more than just the light, more than just the wind.

Maybe it's just that there's so much change in my life right now, that these strange winds blew in at the end of a long and strange weekend.

I can feel it, though, like a tangible thing.

There's change in the air.






There's no shelter from the wind ... )

athelind: (Eye: RCA Magic Eye)
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Which songs have been covered better by artists who didn't originally sing them?

Joe Cocker's classic Woodstock rendition of "A Little Help from my Friends" accomplished the amazing feat of improving upon the Beatles, and did it at the height of their popularity.



Few artists have so completely made a song their own, with such a distinctly different take on the original arrangement.

I also confess a particular fondness for the Shiny Toy Guns cover of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)". Yes, the one from the car commercial. Shut up.



I've always liked Schilling's original, but I think this band has the surreal spaciness nailed. The male vocalist doesn't quite click for me, but those haunting, resonant, slightly-processed female vocals on the chorus ... ooh.

And, call me a heretic, but ... I've always preferred Bonnie Tyler's take on "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" over the Creedence Clearwater Revival original. It irks me that this version never gets any airtime on the radio. Yes, I still listen to the radio. Shut up.



Finally ... I have the deepest respect for Jim Steinman as a composer and a lyricist, but any song he's released by himself has always sounded better when Meat Loaf sings it. I'm not just counting the songs Mr. Steinman wrote for Mr. Aday personally; I'm talking about the albums full of songs that later showed up on Bat Out of Hell 2 & 3. The only person who can handle Steinman's operatic bombast nearly as well as Meat Loaf is, in fact, Ms. Bonnie Tyler, featured in the above video with a non-Steinman song.

I would dearly love to see Mr. Aday and Ms. Tyler perform Mr. Steinman's classic duet, "Total Eclipse of the Heart".


athelind: (Eye - VK)
[livejournal.com profile] normanrafferty pointed out this amazing video from Broken Bells.

It hearkens back to the Golden Age of MTV, when music videos were miniature movies that told stories—often science fiction stories. I think the opportunities of YouTube might bring that back.







athelind: (green hills of earth)
When I mentioned him in yesterday's Writer's Block, I was entirely unaware of the fact that today would have been Unca Carl's 76th birthday.

I've linked to this before, but it's always worth revisiting:




...That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.



athelind: (Default)
I was reminded today of the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, which finds beauty in transience and impermanence.

Some things are more precious for their impermanence; some things are more perfect for their imperfections.






There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in ... )

athelind: (AAAAAA)
Last night's poll about "The Green Hills of Earth" inspired a wave of "Other" responses, all listing a different song in the Common Meter.

Some of them work for me; some of them don't. (The Yellow Rose of Texas? Seriously??)

But one thing's for sure: after a while of trying to sing these lyrics to all these different tunes, the tunes all start to run together in your head ...




athelind: (hoard potato)
Arnold Schwarzenegger sings "Crom!", from Conan: the Musical.

Slight spoiler warning, for safety:

[livejournal.com profile] athelind spit-takes when it gets to the line where the guy is stepping on Conan's hand: [SPOILER DELETED]
[livejournal.com profile] gatewalker: yes
[livejournal.com profile] gatewalker: I'm so glad I didn't have a drink in my mouth when that line came
[livejournal.com profile] athelind: HOT COFFEE MAN
[livejournal.com profile] gatewalker: hahahahahaha





athelind: (Eye: RCA Magic Eye)
There are Seven Words that everyone dreads when talking to a gamer. They're not Mr. Carlin's famous Seven Words, but in casual conversation, they can often prompt a response that's every bit as extreme. After a few years, those of us who are capable of acquiring at least rudimentary social skills learn to avoid these words, for the most part, but every so often, they just have to slip out.


The words in question: Let Me Tell You About My Character ... )

This brings us to the Songs of the Day: Medley for a Reluctant Android.






1-0-0-1-0-0-1 ... )







I am the modяen man ... )

No, the similarities between "Kilroy" and "Kildare" haven't escaped me.
YouTube has the original, official videos for both of these songs,
but they're both just ... so ... painfully ... Eighties.

athelind: (Eye - VK)
One last post before I call it a day:

A little Uriah Heep. You may be hearing more of them from me; there's something in the air this summer. Maybe it's just the unusual humidity; I first heard Heep in Texas, whilst flunking out of Texas A&M.






I'm a man with a whole lot on his mind ... )

athelind: (Default)
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If you had to choose a theme song for your middle or high school years, what would it be, and why?

I don't think I would have picked this at the time, but with 20/20 hindsight, it's perfect.






Come on! Let's see what you've got... )


(Regular readers of my journal will remember that I just posted this back at the beginning of April; it's still the right answer.)

athelind: (Howitzer)
Whenever I hear one of these songs, I think of the other.

They were both released in 1982, the year I graduated high school.

Says something about the zeitgeist, doesn't it?






I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale ... )







It's the terror of knowing what this world is about ... )


Joel's song is such an explosion of stress, but Bowie and Queen's, despite its similar themes, is a release. It's celebratory: yes, the world is closing in around me, but I'll see it through. It's hard to listen to it without singing along with those last few lines, as the music rises to an epiphany.

Can't we give ourselves one more chance?

I do my best ... under pressure.


athelind: (AAAAAA)
Came home bitey. Not work-related, Universe-related. Cynicism turned up to 11.

In a word, RAAR.

This requires a song.






It's not a game--it's just a rout! )

I already feel better.
Listening to Mr. Aday belt out existential rage
is like primal scream therapy.

athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
I play this track a lot, but I don't think I listen to it enough.

It's from the same album as "Man in the Wilderness", posted here a few months back, and in some ways, it can be seen as the "Get Over It" response to the "I'm So Lost and Emo" of that song.







Come on! Let's see what you've got... )



They played this song on KUFX this morning. Greg Kihn and his sidekick du jour had a brief exchange about the closing guitar riff, and how it seemed too cheerful and happy for a song subtitled "The Angry Young Man".

I listen to Kihn for his Old Rocker stories, not for his profound insights.

To me, that swirling guitar fugue encapsulates all the potential, possibility, truth, beauty, and whatever that surrounds the Angry Young Man. It's all the stuff that we miss—that I miss—when we're wrapped up in being the Man in the Wilderness.

Yeah, The Grand Illusion came out when I was 13. I'm just like anyone else: my High School Soundtrack is the Music of My Life.


athelind: (We The People)
A reunion of all the SNL comics who have portrayed Presidents of the United States over the years (with the regrettable exception of the late Phil Hartman).



This is funny, but it's also a PSA to encourage people to contact their senators about the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which sounds like a pretty good idea to Your Obedient Serpent.

But it's also funny.


athelind: (Default)
A reunion of all the SNL comics who have portrayed Presidents of the United States over the years (with the regrettable exception of the late Phil Hartman).



This is funny, but it's also a PSA to encourage people to contact their senators about the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which sounds like a pretty good idea to Your Obedient Serpent.

But it's also funny.


athelind: (pennyfarthing)
AMC has made all 17 episodes of Patrick McGoohan's classic series, The Prisoner, available online.

This series is required viewing for anyone who's ever ...

Well, for anyone.

Anywhere.

Especially in this day and age.


I am not a number!
I am a free man!


athelind: (Default)
AMC has made all 17 episodes of Patrick McGoohan's classic series, The Prisoner, available online.

This series is required viewing for anyone who's ever ...

Well, for anyone.

Anywhere.

Especially in this day and age.


I am not a number!
I am a free man!


November 2016

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