Tags: music


A typical night in J'ville

Something beautiful happens in this world (Hamish!)
You don't know how to express yourself (and the Adams)
So you just gotta sing
I just won Dominion
And it felt so good (felt so good)
The players let me buy eight provinces
I just won Dominion
And I'll never go back (never go back)
To the not-winning-Dominion ways of the past
Have you ever won Dominion?
I have... it felt great
It felt so good when I did it with my village
Buying gold let me do it
It literally just happened
Attack cards can make a mean man out the nicest
You'll never guess where I just came from
I won Dominion
If I had to describe the feelin'
It was the best
When I won the game
Man, my penis felt great
And I called my parents right after I was done
Oh, hey
Didn't see you there
Guess what I just did?
Won Dominion, pirate ships,
Stole their gold and the rest
Was sure, nice of him
Not to buy those moats
Nice of any guy ever (now sing!)
I just won Dominion
And it felt so good (felt so good)
They all let me put my curses in their decks
I wanna tell the world
To be honest
I'm surprised they let me buy ten markets
It doesn't really make sense
But man, screw it
I ain't one to argue with a good thing
This game's outta sight
That good?
I'd been pwned the rest of the night (the night)
I'm so humbled by the smuggler's ability to deliver
And I've heard Tony'd play Dominion with a pile of manure
With that in mind
A game with card players is better
'specially if he pimps his deck with gold and silver
So this one's dedicated to them cards
That let us cycle through our whole deck in a turn (yeah)
Cost two to six
Bonus actions or coins (yeah)
We wanna thank you all
For lettin' us play you
I didn't trash all my copper (doesn't matter, won Dominion)
But I still had estates (doesn't matter, won Dominion)
There were curses in my deck (doesn't matter, won Dominion)
Even Lex and his gardens? (still counts!)
I just played Dominion
And my dreams came true
So if you won Dominion in the last 30 minutes
Then you're qualified to sing with me
I just won Dominion (everybody sing)
And it felt so good (we all won Dominion!)
I ended up with a whole lotta victory points (I wanna tell the world)
I just won Dominion (I just won Dominion)
And I'll never go back (oh no no no!)
To the not-wining-Dominion ways of the past (feels so great)


Musical Nuggets

I posted a link to the Matt Mulholland cover of Rebecca Black's Friday on Facebook the other day and today that resulted in a minor link-fest. So here's the cover:

It's a fantastic transformation of the transformation of a too-fine example of the vapidity of pop music into a poignant meditation on the loneliness of urban life.
You can download the cover as an mp3 at the Cover Me link above.

On a lighter note, The Wurzels, a lurverly bunch 'o Summerset farmers:

They also cover Oasis.

Finally, another cover, this time of a beloved classic: Frankmusik Turns “The Safety Dance” into an Electropop Earworm.

Something Beginning with 'A'

Straight outta Denmark, a crazy RPGnetter called hafwit has passed on a musical meme. This one goes a little something like this: Comment with a request, and I'll give you a letter. You post five favorite songs/music videos that start with that letter.

It turns out that I like quite a few songs beginning with 'A', so I made a list of forty-odd songs, cut a bunch*, categorised some thematically** and by artist*** and picked the best from each category, then ruled out songs by my favourite artists**** - those guys are always all over my musical lists.

That left the following five songs, in appropriately alphabetic arrangement:

Abacab (Genesis)
Classic/Prog rock doesn't get much play in my headphones, but I make an exception for Genesis. Yeah, that's as close as it gets. Lets not fuck around with the edited version - eight minutes, baby. I have no time for guitar wank, but again, I'll make an exception for Genesis.

Add it Up (The Violent Femmes)
The Violent Femmes man... It's like having John Cusack poured into your ears. This live version is like having the extended wanky version of John Cusack poured into your ears.

Adrenaline (Rosettea Stone)
This one is all KAOS and dancing and fun. Here's the "all the lights are off in the dance room" version. Watch out for the swinging limbs.

Anyone Can Play Guitar (Radiohead)
Their best song, and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.

Automatic Flowers (Our Lady Peace)
The epitome of the band that accompanied my early-twenties angst.

* Including Asshole; Awake My Heart; America, Fuck Yeah; Ares; Armageddon It; Any way You Want it; Andrew; Army of Me; Angel; Atom Bomb; and Ave Dementia.
** Songs beginning with 'All', Animal songs, Medically themed songs.
*** Songs by Garbage, Rammstein, and The Sisters of Mercy.
**** Including Amanda Palmer, Garbage, Joy Division, Pearl Jam, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, and Tool. Bonus points if you can guess the nine songs I dropped. Double bonus points if you can guess the four runners up by those artists, quadruple bonus points if you can guess the six songs from two thematic categories that got dropped here as well.

Songs about Los Angeles

I've been thinking about place and space a lot recently, so when Octopushat made a list of his five favourite songs about Los Angeles, I decided to do the same. I've been wanting to write something about L.A. for a while, in part inspired by coming across this blog post while trying to find out more about the second song on this list.

In no particular order.

Shihad 'La-la-land'

Of course this was going top the list: a high-energy critique of the vacuous and fast-paced world of the entertainment industry by one of my favourite bands. Plus, an appropriately frenetic video featuring a Angelina Jolie-like cyborg and a very young Jon Toogood.

Alexander Hamilton 'L.A.'

This is a remix of MURS' 'L.A.' (L dot A dot). I prefer the remix because I'm not a big fan of the original's bare hip hop aesthetic. However, I really like MURS' lyrics for their underground hip hop authenticity. The L.A. they refer to is much closer to the real L.A than the rich white parts of town associated with the entertainment industry. At least, closer to the real L.A. of my daily experience. My L.A. is centred on riding the Vermont bus through K-town to West Adams, catching the Red Line between Downtown and Hollywood, and riding the Hollywood DASH loop. It's an ethnic patchwork of predominantly working class Angelenos going about their daily business rather than the glitz and glamour that so many songs reference. Thinking of which...

Hathbanger 'Party & Bullshit (In The USA)' (Notorious B.I.G. vs. Miley Cyrus)

And speaking of the entertainment industry, I love this mash-up for the way it deflates that bubble. The L.A. connection, comes from the full verses of the Miley Cyrus track.

Victor Menegaux – Going Back To Dani (Notorious B.I.G. vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Another Mash-up. No apologies, it's one of the most vibrate musical genres of the 21st century. I like both originals, but this is definitely a case where the sum is greater than the parts.
Besides. It has a Fatburger reference. Represent, yo.

Buuuut, the lyrics are all Biggie, no Anthony...

Red Hot Chili peppers 'Dani California'

Menegaux's mash-up sacrifices all of the Kiedis vocals, so the original has to have a place here too. This came out in the year I moved to L.A., so it's not surprising that it was one of the songs on the airline radio for my first couple of trans-pacific flights. This is always my "looking out the window at L.A. on the way to for from New Zealand" song. I'd never actually seen the video before tonight though.

I was going to include the epic 'California Love' by Dr Dre et al., but I've used up my five and it's really just a favourite track with no particular resonance aside from being about California. If I included that one, I'd have to slip in some Katy Perry.

That said, I will slip in a sixth.

The Dresden Dolls 'Shores of California'

Filmed on the beach in L.A. and created by one of my favourite artists of the last 5-7 years. I have so many good and hopeful memories associated with The Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer and those memories, for better or worse, will always be associated with Los Angeles.

I can't do Christchurch. Not now. But probably not ever. The music that I associate with Christchurch is the music that I associate with 30 years of my life, and especially my 20s. It's too all encompassing to be a viable sub-category of my musical tastes.

Tunes for Christchurch

I saw an interview with Street Chant before the Big Day Out this year, and struck both by the vitality of their punk aesthetic and their youth. They remind me a lot of She's Insane, among other NZ bands of the 90s. The trio have attracted a bit of attention in the NZ music scene, picked up a few awards and toured with a few great bands already (The Dead Weather, The 3d's, The Datsuns, Head Like A Hole).

They're also among the bands who have contributed to Tunes for Christchurch, a page of downloads and charities put together by NZ digital music retailer and magazine Amplifier in support of the Christchurch earthquake relief efforts.

There are more Street Chant videos on their website. There's also a cursory myspace page which duplicates those offerings in audio only.

My back to the water, my feet in the sand

I picked up the digital version of Amanda Palmer's latest album Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under this morning. It's a real mix. Some absolute gold, and a lot of "meh". 'Australia' sounds a lot like some of her earlier work ('Astronaut' in the verses, something different, but also familiar in the chorus). On an Unknown Beach, Bad Wine and Lemon Cake, Formidable Marinade and Map of Tasmania are decent tracks, but I'm not sure how often I can see myself listening to them, especially compared to her earlier work.

About the point I got to 'We're Happy Little Vegemites', in which AFP incites the audience to sing an old Vegemite jingle, I really began to agree with this review. There's a certain sense in which this album is rather indulgent fan service. You see, it's essentially a live album for which there are no non-live versions. I love live albums, but the quality of the songs is invariably much lower if only because of the crowd noise and banter. I'm happy to put up with that when I love the songs and have the option of listening to the same song as a non live track. In this case, I don't.

A glance at the track listing will reveal that most of the songs I mention as decent above feature another artist. I definitely prefer AFP when she's accompanied by a full arrangement and even one other artist can provide some of that. So I'm glad that I only bought the digital version of this album, but lest it seem that I am dissatisfied with my purchase, I will end this post by discussing the 'absolute gold' I mentioned at the beginning.

AFP's magnificent cover of Nick Cave's The Ship Song was worth the price of the album alone. The gravely ethereality of the album version of Nick Cave's original wraps around you like a duvet of light piano, warm synth and soft backing vocals. AFP slows it right down with a haunting piano and vocal performance which evokes a splendid sense of isolation at times lonely and at times triumphant. Her rendition is a wonderful testament to the power and versatility of her instruments.


Like vintage wine from fine old kegs

Excellent news!

This is Dee Snider covering Frank Sinatra's "It Was a Very Good Year" (h/t to Cover Me:

SIN-atra - It Was A Very Good Year feat. Dee Snider by Eagle Rock Entertainment

The album, featuring classic and hair metal artists and called SIN-atra, is coming at the end of March. More details, including a track listing at Kik Axe Music, and many other places.

I can't wait!

And I need a burger!

Reformat the Planet

Reformat the Planet is a documentary about the chiptune movement, which takes as its narrative centre the 2006 Blip Festival held at the Tank art space in New York.

If Hulu works in your region, you can watch it here. If not, it's split into seven parts on Penny Arcade TV.

I haven't been as big into chiptunes as I have other kinds of geek music, but I've been on an electronic music kick recently and a number of the artists in the film caught my fancy.
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Part of the genre's appeal rests on nostalgia, certainly, but that's not the appeal for me. I didn't play any of these games as a kid, and have in fact never touched a Gameboy or Famicom. Still, these sounds are familiar as part of an overall geek subcultural heritage like D&D, even though I only played the red box once as a kid, before returning to my real gateway game Advanced Fighting Fantasy. So that's part of it, but most of all, it's just good electronic music that makes me want to dance.

Come sail your ships around me

Another collection of links in an attempt to make a dent in my backlog of browser tabs:

On the New York Times website, Mark Greif has written a Bourdieuian analysis of hipster culture and why the term is used as ab insult: The Hipster in the Mirror (subscription required).

I'm not usually one for celebrity gossip, but this one's pretty mind bending. Earlier this week I learnt from Sci-Fi Storm, that the 10th Doctor is engaged to the woman who played his daughter in the fourth season (new series) and who incidentally is the actual daughter of the 5th Doctor. Now that's a relationship worthy of a time lord!

Amanda Palmer has released her new album, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, including this amazing cover of Nick Cave's 'The Ship Song' which you can download at Cover Me.

Finally, an brief interview with big Brad Thorn:


Reviews and Remixes

I should have been playing Dresden Files right now, but the bug that took advantage of my con-weaked immune system had other ideas, so instead I'm catching up on my neglected Google Reader.
Mostly, several recent Zero Punctuations. This one's a classic (I wanted to embed it, but The Escapist's embedding appears to be borked).

Z. gives his wrap-up of 2010: A Brave New Nerd.

A couple of great covers of Mr Brightside one a violin and piano arrangement, the other by a couple of talented Irish girls.

A few well crafted mashups from Mashuptown