Mary Lambert, the (now Grammy-nominated) chanteuse behind the chorus of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s smash hit song “Same Love,” was recently on Billboard’s Candid Covers internet show thing, where she covered the 2000 song “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus. If you’re not familiar with that song, here are a couple of things you should know about it:
The original Wheatus version is a pretty rockin’ power-pop song.
It’s actually one of my favorite songs. It routinely makes it onto my mp3 player mixes.
I am a bit disappointed that Mary left out the “he brings a gun to school” line, but in fairness that line was omitted from most radio-broadcast versions of the song. But I do think it’s pretty awesome that Mary Lambert thought that the lead singer of Wheatus was a girl.
I really appreciate that she completely takes this kinda power-rock song and completely transforms it into her own plaintive, sad style. I’ve never seen the point of doing a cover of a song if it’s just going to sound like the exact same song. It also isn’t done in an ironic way, like all those folky covers of hip-hop songs that appeared after Jonathan Coulton’s “Baby Got Back” cover. It turns a kind of cheeky song into something really heartfelt.
This reminds me a lot of Tori Amos’s pretty durned amazing cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (listen to that here).
For the past couple of years, underground Seattle record label Green Monkey Records has put out compilation Christmas albums that have included original Christmas songs by Three Ninjas. Threeni did them in his old-school-country style, so, true to the genre, they aren’t exactly the happiest of yuletide tunes. So here’s the latest depressing Christmas song from Three Ninjas! It’s called “Joy & Goodwill” and is about lotsa killin’ yerself:
It goes pretty well with the song that he made last year for that year’s Christmas compilation with the help of Lee Rude, called “The Birth Of Our Savior (Is the Death of My Dream)”
Yes, that’s right: I’m in a music video! As I previously mentioned on this website, December 2nd would see the release of the official music video for The Jesus Rehab‘s song “Mind Readers” (informally known as “We’re All Slaves to the Lizard King”).
Well, yesterday was December 2nd, and sure enough the video appeared on the internets! It exclusively streamed on two websites, so go to one of these to watch it:
Live Eye TV actually helped in the production of the video; Jared of the Jesus Rehab wrote and directed the video, but the chaps from Live Eye TV did all the filming and making of the video and technical stuff.
Anyway, give it a watch, and you’ll see me in it several times! You’ll also see Julia Massey in the beginning and end, and Robb Benson is in there, and a whole bunch of other Seattle musicians. But the important thing is that I’M FAMOUS!
Honestly, I wouldn’t even know who Pharrell Williams was if it weren’t for the fact that he kinda became the voice of Daft Punk in 2013; he does the lead vocals on both “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance.” But he’s a musician and producer in his own right (just not in the styles of music to which I normally listen).
But Pharrell did something innovative and exciting and, well, pretty awexome. A week before Thanksgiving he released a video for his new single, “Happy” (for the soundtrack of Despicable Me 2). Thing is, this is a very unusual video: it lasts 24 full hours. For reals. Here’s how it works:
The song “Happy” is just a couple seconds short of 4 minutes long. The whole video consists of a series different “sections,” each of which lasts exactly 4 minutes, over which the song is played. So there are 360 sections total. Most of the sections consist of someone dancing towards a camera that is slowly backing away from them. There are of course variations in number of people and movement of camera (and there are several sections that are all about motor vehicles). Each section usually features a different person than the previous section. Each section is done in one continuous, unbroken take. For the most part each section is linked geographically to the previous section, meaning that it takes up in the same location where the previous section ended. Over the course of the 24 hours of the video, about an 8-mile stretch of Los Angeles is shown. Periodically the video will enter a specific location and linger there for several sections (like a supermarket and a bowling alley, for example).
Also, Pharrell Williams himself shows up in the first section of each hour, so he appears 24 times total for 4 minutes each.
And, yes, I watched all 360 sections of the video. Full disclosure: I didn’t always watch all 4 minutes of each section. If it failed to catch my interest I used the on-screen controls to just skip to the next section. But I have chosen my “Top 50 Sections” of this 24-hour video, and I present them here for you in chronological order. Click on any of the screenshots below to be taken directly to that section. At the bottom of this article I’ll have some more thoughts for you.
That wacky non-turtle Leonardo (the Da Vinci one) invented a whole heaping mess of all sorts of confabulous fraptraptions way back in the olden-timey days. We all know that, right?
Well, in the pages of the Codex Atlanticus (which is really a compilation of a bunch of his journals/sketchbooks) one could find illustrations outlining an idea for a keyed string instrument like a piano, but with spinning wheels that played the strings like a viola. It has come to be generally known as the Viola Organista (or Geigenwerk).
From all accounts Leo never actually made the instrument. Well, recently a guy named Sławomir Zubrzycki did make a Viola Organista, and played it at the International Royal Krakow Piano Festival!
It sounds pretty cool, almost like an Cello/Viola/Harpsichord, or an entire string section at times. It’s a very impressive technical and artistic achievement.
But it should be noted that this isn’t the first time an instrument like this has been produced. The Geigenwerk was developed way back in the late 1500s by Hans Haiden, and Akio Obuchi has been making them since 1993.
But at any rate, this is the first time I’ve ever heard this olden-times instrument. And it seems to be pretty popular; that YouTube video has well over a million views in just two weeks!
It’s time! After many long years, The Jesus Rehab have finally recorded a new full-length album! They just need a li’l help to get it all prettified and released out into the wild. To that effect, they have started a new Kickstarter campaign for The Zoo At Night!
The Jesus Rehab are the best, un-ironic, unapologetic, rockin’ duo in Seattle right now. If you’re my friend then you’re probably already a fan, so kick a few bucks their way and let’s get another musical masterpiece out into the world, eh?