Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Betty Hutton did it first, but Bjork did it cuter

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Bjork of the 1940s. Okay, I'm saying that only because the Icelandic weirdo's "It's Oh So Quiet" (from 1995's Post) is a remake of Betty Hutton's "Blow a Fuse." Here is the original song:

And here is Bjork's remake, complete with endearing Spike Jonze video (I especially like the dancing mailbox):

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Only iTunes knows what I'm going through.

When I go to the iTunes music store, the songs it suggests for me (based on my recent purchases) are, in order:

1. "Baby Come to Me" by James Ingram
2. "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger
3. "Dance Hall Days" by Wang Chung
4. "So Much in Love" by All-4-One
5. "Pinch Me" by Barenaked Ladies

What's weird is that, if I had to come up with a suicide note made up of five songs, these would probably be the exact five songs I would choose. And in this particular order, no less.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

P. Cet in the house

I'm being totally serious when I say this was one of my favorite songs as an elementary school kid. Yes, I had a very dramatic internal life, full of romance and wonder!

And an external life full of getting beaten up.

The end of the universe

Here is Lewis Black doing his mildly amusing "End of the Universe" routine on The Daily Show. I like that it centers on Houston, though. Go H-town! Best end of the universe EVER!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Doctor says you're cured, but you still feel the pain

While everybody knows that Alanis Morisette's question of "Isn't it ironic?" should have been more appropriately worded as "Isn't it a bummer?," it was Howard Jones who penned the quintessential ode to misfortune some ten years earlier with his pretty rad "No One Is to Blame." That song is just so heavy, man. I mean, let me get this straight: dude's the fastest runner, but he's not allowed to win? What the frick kind of track meet is this? Who is the governing body here?

"No One Is to Blame" originally appeared on 1985's Dream Into Action, with the album version running 3:28. The song was remixed and released as a 4:12 single the following year (with new production, percussion, and backing vocals by Phil Collins), and it became Jones's biggest U.S. hit, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Almost twenty-five years later, here is Jones still b-tching about a clearly defective jigsaw puzzle where the last piece of the puzzle strangely doesn't fit:

As an aside, I think it would be fun to become the CEO of the Irish Spring Corporation but then not take any showers for weeks at a time, and then sing "Ironic" to your buddies but change the words to "Isn't it ironic . . . that I stink? A little too ironic, yeah I really do stink."

Because "stink" rhymes with "think."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Honky Tonk Sixths

Here is a good article on "Honky Tonk Sixths," which are major and minor sixths played on the top four strings. Not only do they sound very cool, but they are also pretty easy to play, and I have become enamored with them lately. The two most common pattern examples:

Honky Tonk Sixths are not limited to country music, however; in fact, probably the best known example comes from this song by an Irishman. You know what the best known song by a hobbit is? Probably this one. (EDIT: This song's signature riff actually comprises thirds, not sixths. I'm a moron, and I hate myself.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

And I will be alone again tonight, my dear

Some say love is one of life's great mysteries ("Love is one of life's great mysteries"), while others say love is all around ("Love is all around"). I say: Love is an L.A.-based band from the 1960s and 70s that had some great songs, including "Alone Again Or" (from 1967's Forever Changes). The song, with its Spanishy sound, has been covered by The Damned, Calexico, and Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, and it has been featured in Wes Anderson's Bottle Rocket. Wikipedia says that the song was inspired by Prokofiev's "Lieutenant Kije Suite," but then again Wikipedia also swears that Texas A&M is an accredited university, so I don't know what to believe. Either way, the song is nice.