Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson R.I.P.

Michael Jackson died just over an hour ago.

Thriller was the first album I ever remember listening to on headphones, just a little kid in the darkness watching the twinkly green lights on our NASA-era stereo. I'd always fall asleep before I got to the end. I was mesmerised by 'Human Nature'.

And then, the Bad tour came to Wembley Stadium. It was the first stadium show I ever saw. I'm not sure any subsequent gig has come close to the electrifying thrill of seeing Jackson, in his prime, no need to call himself the King of Pop, everyone knew he just was, dancing and singing like no-one before or since.

And then, later, when you started to learn a bit about music, came an appreciation of the sheer fucking irresistible groove of those best songs. That bassline. That guitar solo. The ecstatic yelps and sighs, the chirruping vocal tics beyond language.

In the days and weeks and years to come we're gonna hear plenty of lurid stories about his last years. I'd be lying if I said I won't be reading them with as much prurient interest as the next guy.

But for now - here's to Michael for all those tunes, and the memories they'll always trigger.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Declare Independence

I've identified a plausible candidate for that gnawing empty feeling. It's that I haven't seen Björk play live in years. What a terrible oversight. I'm blaming the fact that I didn't listen to Volta a great deal, which says more about my lazy listening than it does about the record's intrinsic quality. Oh wait, it also says that any album that prominently features the vocals of Anthony sends me running in the opposite direction lest I be flattened by the schools of amourous sirenians sure to be attracted by his penetrative mating call. I digress. I've seen Björk play three times, and each time she was increasingly and absurdly brilliant. The first time at the Opera House in Covent Garden was absolutely magical, nape-prickling stuff. This video, of a song that struck me as kinda meh in its recorded form, is a reminder that we really ought to, to paraphrase Auden, see Björk immediately or die.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sorry but this is funny

I have no words, so I'll let Sasha explain:

Sometimes consensus is better than a hot tip. Even if we can’t agree on the big things—like whether or not free-market capitalism itself is the condition that produced the current economic malaise—we can all send each other the same funny video at the same time. (When our own Ben Greenman and Dita Von Teese agree on something, I think we are close to consensus.) The video for “Total Eclispe Of The Heart,” below, makes good on an Internet challenge meme: narrate the images in a video, literally, by creating a new version of the song that inspired the video.

I'm still frankly staggered at the suggestion that this is based on the real video. Even with the literal lyrics, why didn't a nation throw up its own pelvis laughing?